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Evaluating Trade-Offs Among Prioritization Strategies

June 26, 2020

This study considers a total of six commonly cited strategies when assessing ecological and social resilience to climate change stresses in coral reef management worldwide.

Assessing ecological and social resilience to climate change stresses has become a priority in coral reef management worldwide, and there is increasing information on how to best incorporate these assessments into a novel management framework—resilience-based management (RBM). Generally, this body of literature underscores the importance of including resilience assessments in management prioritization, with the explicit strategy of prioritizing action in the areas with highest measured resilience.

However, there is also a diversity of other concerns when prioritizing areas in which to focus management actions. This study considers a total of six commonly cited strategies: a pure resilience focus, prioritizing actions in the areas rated with the highest resilience to climate stresses; prioritizing actions in areas of thermal refugia with the least or latest exposure to heat stress; including appropriate spatial representation by prioritizing areas on each region/island; incorporating as much biodiversity as possible within the prioritized set; inclusion of living marine resources, specifically resource fish biomass; and placing management in areas of high social vulnerability. Outlined strategies for RBM advocate for different levels of inclusion of each of these issues, but there has been little empirical work evaluating the relative trade-offs of these strategies based on real-world data. By better understanding these trade-offs, we may improve upon a resilience-based strategy that appropriately incorporates these other elements.

Oliver TA, Hospital J, Brainard RE. 2020. Spatial Prioritization under Resilience Based Management: Evaluating Trade-offs among Prioritization Strategies. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-105, 47 p.  https://doi.org/10.25923/xdf2-t259.

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 12/06/2021

Coral Reefs Coral Reef Monitoring